By Father Frank Ryan OMI
The New Testament is very much a a historical account of the life of Jesus, and
the pages hold records of over 38 miracles that benefitted thousands (loaves and
fishes) of people. We see clearly Jesus’s empathy with the suffering and distress
of ordinary people. He gives us hope when all other solutions have been
exhausted. Prayer is that kind of communication that empowers those who are
broken and retrieves lost causes.
Our Lady is famous for appearing at crucial times in the lives of people and
nations. We remember Lourdes and Fatima because those apparitions are near
and recent and the messages are still fresh in our minds. But Our Lady’s first
apparition was in fact an act of bilocation. She had promised to visit (St) James
the Apostle on his mission in Spain, and in the year 40 her visit is
commemorated in the Cathedral of Zaragoza which contains the chapel of Santa
Maria del Pilar – the site of her visit. Our Lady is rightly perceived as the
Mother of all Mankind.
In 1037 Ukraine was dedicated to Our Lady and after many miracles of
protection great devotion sprung up. This devotion became solidified in various
icons, mosaics and pictures. St Sophia Cathedral in Kyiv (now a museum)
contains one such national icon and the building is a UNISCO world heritage
site. Our Lady promised freedom at a time of severe Soviet suppression, and
freedom was achieved in 1991. But that freedom is now threatened again.
The people of Ukraine and the world have turned to Our lady for help once
again. It is that trust in prayer and Our Lady that gives confidence in victory in
spite of the overwhelming strength of soldiers and arms that are arranged
Your prayerful support is needed and appreciated
A prayer for Ukraine
In that critical moment when Jesus was being arrested he told his follower to put
away his sword because “all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (Mat.
26:52). Ukraine has history. During World War 11 one in four Jews were
murdered in Ukraine with the support of the local military. Ironically their
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is Jewish. Some cynics might say what goes
around comes around!
Let us pray for an end to this war and a lasting peace that restores the integrity
of its borders and security for its citizens. Lord listen to your people who cry to
you in their pain and grief. Suppress the evil that is so manifest in the missiles,
bombs and bullets inflicted on an innocent people. Grant eternal rest to those
who were killed, restore to health those injured, protect and prosper those who
had to flee, and grant courage and resourcefulness to those who have stayed.
Lord unite your family in peace and freedom, restore trust, drive out hatred and
YOU who are the reconciler bind us together as one.
A Prayer for Russia
Lord listen to our prayer for that great Commonwealth of Nations occupying the
largest land mass in the world with 145 million souls seeking peace and
The leadership of this ancient and noble land have sought a path of war to
resolve their anxieties. They have abandoned all perspectives of differences and
attempted to impose a uniform administration at horrific cost to the Ukrainian
people and to their national aspiration.
Lord be with the Russian people at this time. Hear those who cry for peace. Be
with those who oppose war and are imprisoned for that opposition. Be with
those who feel punished and are affected by the decisions of their Government.
Be with those parents and families whose loved ones are drawn into a conflict
not of their making or desire. May their desire for peace prevail.
Lord we have seen the utter depravity of Russia’s leadership and are shocked to
witness how they can masquerade pure evil as something of benefit to their
motherland. Like the psalmist we cry out “They care nothing for what the
LORD has done or for what his hands have made. So he will tear them down,
and they will never be rebuilt!” (Ps 28:5). Let us pray That Russia may return to
be a responsible member of the family of nations, and atone for the horrors they
have committed in recent times. Let your love drive out the hatred at the heart
of this conflict and give your people the freedom to return to you.
Our Lady Queen of all nations pray for us